Keith On The Town: A Look at What’s Happening in Music, Arts and Theater this Week

Keith Loria Around Town, Art & Culture, Arts, Music Scene

When Funk Meets Roots: Neville Jacobs Coming to DC

What do you get when you marry a funkster from the famed New Orleans Neville Family with a Baltimore-based roots bandleader? One listen to the new recording by Ivan Neville and Cris Jacobs—aptly entitled Neville Jacobs—and you’ll understand the result is music magic.

This unlikely paid joined forces in a somewhat odd way. Both were taking part at the New Orleans Jazz Fest—Neville with his band, Dumpstaphunk, and Jacobs with The Bridge—and during some downtime, were seated next to each other at a poker game.

Over cards, the two chatted about music and casually talked about possibly making some music together in the future. A year and a half later, mutual friend Joe Michaels got both of them together for a songwriting session and things started to take root and the album was born.

“This record is great because we didn’t have to make a record. Ivan and I just got together with the intention of just making some noise and writing some tunes and seeing what happened,” Jacobs says. “There was no pressure, so we were free to be natural. With the help of Tony Hall and Brady Blade, two extremely soulful and musical cats, we recorded it in a few days at Blade Studios in Shreveport, La. The only goal we had was to just play tastefully and soulfully, and the result is a sound that doesn’t cater to any specific genre…it just feels natural.”

During the recording sessions, the duo invited Shreveport-based singer and violinist, Theresa Andersson, to add some of her flavor to a few of the songs, and Ivan’s famous dad, Aaron, lends his vocals to the tune, “Makeup Of A Fool.”

In support of the album the duo will be playing two shows in our area, Dec.13 at 8×10 in Baltimore and Dec. 14 at Gypsy Sally’s in Washington, D.C.

“People can expect a very musical brand of soulful rock & blues performed by a group of guys having an absolute blast playing together,” Neville says. “Playing in the Baltimore/DC area means a lot to us. First of all, because it’s Mr. Jacobs’ stomping ground and also because I get to eat at Mother’s Federal Hill Grille.”

Once these shows are over, the two will take a break for the holidays before getting back on stage.

“We have some shows on the books for 2019 that’s will be announced very soon, and we’ll be playing as much as our schedules permit,” Jacobs says. “Other than that, we’d love to find the time to write some more tunes and make another record hopefully.”